Honeywell has teamed up with school districts across the United States to upgrade their buildings and save money on energy costs. "According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 percent of the energy used in schools is wasted due to inefficient buildings, equipment and operations. This drains an estimated $1.5 billion annually from the nation's schools, enough money to hire 30,000 teachers." Source: PR Newswire
Obviously, school districts would rather hire teachers than spend money on wasted energy. Honeywell provides school districts with an audit of the schools energy usage and needs but also provides grants to schools that cannot afford this assessment. After the assessment is finished, an action plan is created that allows the schools to make upgrades over a predetermined period. Typically, the lengthened time allows these projects to have a minimal impact on the district's budget.
However, school districts everywhere are facing budget cuts as the state of the nation's economy continues on its downward trend. Districts will have to spend money to save money. The Associate Superintendent of a relatively small Arizona school district points out that a $140,000 investment would be needed to save $17,000 annually by upgrading lighting ballasts from T-12 to T-8. Source: Terrance Thornton, "AJUSD eyes utility costs", Gold Canyon Independent, December 16, 2008
All of the environmentally friendly changes that can be made to reduce energy costs do not come with figures like this but many of the changes do require a financial commitment. As school district funding continues to be cut in many areas, school districts will find their hands tied when trying to reduce energy costs using green products.